A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers San Carlos de Bariloche vs. San Pedro de Atacama for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit San Carlos de Bariloche or San Pedro de Atacama?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for San Carlos de Bariloche and San Pedro de Atacama. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.

San Carlos de Bariloche

Set in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Argentina, San Carlos de Bariloche is the biggest city in the Lake District. Bariloche is popular for skiing and snowboarding in the winter and trekking, swimming, fishing and horseback riding in the summertime.

No matter the time of year, there is something for everyone in Bariloche. Skiing season begins from June to October while fishing season is from November to April. Summer is from December to March, but visiting during low seasons (Spring in October to December and Autumn in late-April to mid-June) also has its benefits when it comes to saving cash and avoiding crowds.

Check out our ultimate guide to Hiking in Patagonia.

San Pedro de Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama is a gateway to northern Chile. It is a good jumping off point for exploring the area's impressive landscape, most of which is included in the Los Flamencos National Reserve. It is popular with both Chilean and international tourists, and because of its popularity, it is a relatively expensive destination, with many prices comparable to what you might pay in Santiago.

Which city is cheaper, San Pedro de Atacama or San Carlos de Bariloche?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in San Carlos de Bariloche is $52, while the average daily cost in San Pedro de Atacama is $56. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for San Carlos de Bariloche and San Pedro de Atacama in more detail.



Accommodation

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $38 for a double occupancy room in San Carlos de Bariloche.

For a normal double-occupancy room in San Pedro de Atacama, $60 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in San Pedro de Atacama, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $30, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Carlos de Bariloche $19
    San Pedro de Atacama $30
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Carlos de Bariloche $38
    San Pedro de Atacama $60

Food

The average traveler spends about $20 per day in San Carlos de Bariloche for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

Food in San Pedro de Atacama costs travelers about $14 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.


  • Food Meals for one day
    San Carlos de Bariloche $20
    San Pedro de Atacama $14
Typical Food prices in San Carlos de Bariloche

Some typical examples of dining costs in San Carlos de Bariloche are as follows:


  • Pastries
    $0.12
  • Empanadas
    $0.28

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Carlos de Bariloche

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in San Carlos de Bariloche.

  • Night hiking in the woods with headlamps & Candlelit dinner: $70
  • Half-Day Bariloche Highlights with Cooking Class & Beer Tasting -Private Service: $274

Typical Food prices in San Pedro de Atacama

For San Pedro de Atacama, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Empanadas
    $1.52
  • Lunch
    $13
  • Dinner
    $13
  • Drink
    $1.14
  • Empanada
    $6.34

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around San Carlos de Bariloche is $16 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

San Pedro de Atacama's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $8.86 per person, per day on transportation in San Pedro de Atacama.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Carlos de Bariloche $16
    San Pedro de Atacama $8.86

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Carlos de Bariloche

Some specific examples of transportation prices in San Carlos de Bariloche:

  • Shared Round-Trip Transfer: Bariloche Hotels to Cerro Catedral Ski Resort: $38
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Hotel to Bariloche Airport: $26
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Bariloche Airport to Hotel: $15
  • San Carlos de Bariloche Airport Roundtrip Transfer: $48
  • Private transfer: Bariloche Airport (BRC) to San Carlos de Bariloche: $149
  • Private Transfer: San Carlos de Bariloche to Bariloche Airport (BRC): $133
  • Private Transfer from Tom Wesley to Bariloche (BRC) Airport: $62
  • Private Transfer from Puerto Pañuelo to Bariloche (BRC) Airport: $83
  • Private Transfer from Playa Bonita to Bariloche (BRC) Airport: $52
  • Private Transfer from Lago Moreno to Bariloche (BRC) Airport: $52
  • Private Transfer from Hotel Llao Llao to Bariloche (BRC) Airport: $83
  • Private Transfer from Hotel Catedral to Bariloche (BRC) Airport: $52

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Pedro de Atacama

Also for San Pedro de Atacama, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Shared Transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama Airport: $25
  • Transfer San Pedro de Atacama Hotels to El Loa Airport Shared Service: $26
  • Atacama Airport Shuttle Transfer: $30
  • Atacama Airport Private Transfer: $93
  • Private transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama City: $115

Is it cheaper to fly into San Carlos de Bariloche or San Pedro de Atacama?

Prices for flights to both San Pedro de Atacama and San Carlos de Bariloche change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Entertainment

San Carlos de Bariloche's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $22 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in San Pedro de Atacama can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $20 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Carlos de Bariloche $22
    San Pedro de Atacama $20

Tours and Activities in San Carlos de Bariloche

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for San Carlos de Bariloche are as follows:

  • "Brazo Tristeza" Lake Experience - Shared Service: $158
  • 1.5-Hour Lago Gutierrez Paddle Boarding Tour from Bariloche: $80
  • 4-Day Bariloche & Lake district Classic Tour: $659
  • 4-day Bariloche Adventure - Trekking Cerro Llao Llao & Kayaking Lago Mascardi: $903
  • 5-Day Adventure Trip in Bariloche: $995
  • 6-Days Unique Experience Lake Crossing & Mountains Region!: $1,150
  • 7-Day Bariloche & Mendoza Adventure: Trekking, Kayaking, Horseback riding & Wine: $1,326
  • Bariloche 3 tours Classic package: $250
  • Bariloche 3 tours with adrenaline: $280
  • Bariloche 3 tours with adventure: $290
  • Bariloche Circuito Grande Sightseeing Tour: $96
  • Bariloche Civic Center Walking Tour: $5.00

Typical Entertainment prices in San Pedro de Atacama

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for San Pedro de Atacama's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Sand Boarding
    $67

Tours and Activities in San Pedro de Atacama

For San Pedro de Atacama, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Half day Valle de la Luna, Afternoon Tour: $26
  • Sandboarding Adventure in Death Valley: $29
  • Moon Valley & Death Valley Tour from San Pedro de Atacama: $33
  • Geysers del Tatio Tour: $40
  • Valle del Arcoiris Tour: $40
  • Floating experience in the Hidden Lagoons (Lagunas Escondidas): $41
  • Small-Group Tour to Moon Valley from San Pedro de Atacama: $42
  • Astronomical Tour: $42
  • Puritama Springs - Half Day Tour - San Pedro de Atacama - Typical Tour: $44
  • Atacama Desert Stargazing Tour: $44
  • Moon Valley Tour - Half Day Tour: $45
  • Small-Group tour to Laguna Cejar, Ojos del Salar and Laguna Tebinquinche: $46

Alcohol

The average person spends about $13 on alcoholic beverages in San Carlos de Bariloche per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

Typically, people visiting San Pedro de Atacama spend on average $4.78 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Carlos de Bariloche $13
    San Pedro de Atacama $4.78
Typical Alcohol prices in San Carlos de Bariloche

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in San Carlos de Bariloche from other travelers:


  • Beer
    $0.11

Sample the Local Flavors in San Carlos de Bariloche

Also in San Carlos de Bariloche, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • City Tour, Nature Hiking & visit to a Local Microbrewery in Bariloche: $281

Typical Alcohol prices in San Pedro de Atacama

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in San Pedro de Atacama:


  • Alcohol
    $30


When comparing the travel costs between San Carlos de Bariloche and San Pedro de Atacama, we can see that San Pedro de Atacama is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in South America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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San Carlos de Bariloche vs. San Pedro de Atacama Travel Comparison

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